Arnold's Country Kitchen: 605 Eighth Ave. South
615-256-4455 or arnoldscountrykitchen.com
Arnold's is a lunch-only cafeteria-style "meat and three."  Entree choices vary by the day and may include fried chicken, roast beef, ham, or chicken with dumplings. Vegetables are cooked Southern style and are not al dente. (For instance, green beans are cooked in pork fat until soft.) Corn pudding is sweet and heavenly. For dessert, look for dense and flavorful banana pudding and chess pie.

Pancake Pantry: 1796 21st Ave. South
615-383-9333 or thepancakepantry.com
Nashville's premier breakfast restaurant has a huge list of variations on the morning griddle favorites, including Georgia peach pancakes, apple-walnut pancakes, and strawberry shortcake pancakes. They also serve a lunch menu of mostly sandwiches and salads.

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack: 123 Ewing Dr.
615-226-9442 or princeshotchicken.com
Spicy-hot fried chicken is one of Nashville's quintessential foods, and Prince's has been serving it since the 1940s. It comes on white bread with pickles with optional sides. Be warned. This bird is covered in spice and packs real heat.

Edley's Bar-B-Que: several locations
edleysbbq.com
One of the top practitioners of the art of barbeque in Nashville is Edley's Bar-B-Que. They have   a large menu of traditional favorites, such as brisket, chicken, and ribs, as well as creative appetizers and a large selection of tacos, including various fish and seafood tacos. Oh … and a full bar.